Toronto Argonauts: Willie Jefferson should be top priority in free agency

The Toronto Argonauts will look to address many needs in free agency and Willie Jefferson can help them in a way not many CFL free agents can.

Last season, former Toronto Argonauts general manager Jim Popp made a big splash in CFL free agency when he signed Derel Walker to a lucrative deal worth reportedly $275,000.

The intentions were in the right place considering the Argos were looking to improve their offence and wanted to give James Franklin arguably the top receiver in the CFL and someone he’s had history with. Unfortunately, that move didn’t have the impact the Argos were looking for despite Walker putting up 1,040 yards and six touchdowns.

Walker was only targeted 113 times through 15 games, well below the 138 he had in 2015 and 154 in 2016. This time around, expect Toronto to go down a different road especially with the team needing to allocate their salary cap towards different areas.

Sean McEwen and Cleyon Laing should be the priority to bring back for this season but if either of them decide to move on to then the Argos should be prepared and what better way than arguably the top free agent in Willie Jefferson.

While Jefferson will likely command a hefty salary given how TSN’s Dave Naylor reported that six teams have reached out about the 29-year-old. Naylor also adds that not only is Toronto showing interest but they are going to have an aggressive offer and that shouldn’t be surprising to anyone.

The Argonauts had 35 sacks last season finishing sixth in the league, while Saskatchewan led the way with 56. Adding a formidable pass rush will give their defence a better especially in the secondary which added Tommie Campbell recently.

Not only did he have three sacks and forcing two fumbles in the Grey Cup but he had a career-high 12 sacks and six forced fumbles in 2019. The question here is how much more will Jefferson look to make after he made $210,000 last season according to Naylor.

With Walker’s salary coming off the books, Toronto will have space considering they made a lot of moves to free up salary but they also have some big needs to fill. They still need to improve the offensive line and bring in a strong complement of receivers but that shouldn’t take away from the Argos’ ability to bring in Jefferson.

Next: Signing Matt Nichols provides stability at quarterback

Do you think the Argos should be aggressively pursuing Jefferson? Is there another position they should prioritize first? Let us know in the comments below. 

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